Mother’s Day is May 11, one week away. Your time to shop for gifts is running out.
Retailers understand that the last thing your manly mind wants to do is decipher what the mother of your children wants for Mother’s Day, so they’ve made it easy for you. By now, your mailbox has been flooded with sales ads, and your television, with commercials featuring all the things you should get your wife to show her how much you appreciate her — poetic cards, fragrant flowers, candy, and jewelry, of course.
But Dads, before you start fretting over whether to get the champagne truffles or chocolate-covered strawberries, diamond earrings or diamond pendant, you might like to know that what you and the kids think moms want for Mother’s Day doesn’t match up with what they actually want.
Websites and magazines across the country have polled and surveyed women to find out what they really want, and the results overwhelmingly indicate that it’s not material items. An unscientific survey of Toledo area moms had similar results, finding that the gifts atop most moms’ wish list can’t be purchased, and don’t come wrapped.
“I just like spending time with them and my own mom,” Melody Lawrence, 29 of Elmore, said of her two daughters, ages 10 and 7. “Family time is special. You never know how much time you’re going to get.”
Linda Stock, 63, of Temperance, mom to two adults sons and grandmother of three, agrees with Ms. Lawrence.
“My kids are grown, so I’m always on break,” Mrs. Stock said. “I want to spend time with them whenever I can.”
While some moms want to spend Mother’s Day basking in the joys of motherhood, other moms want what they don’t have: Time to themselves.
Unlike her mother-in-law, Dana Stock isn’t always on break. A stay-at-home mom to an almost 2-year-old daughter, Dana Stock is ready to stray from her routine of cooking, cleaning, and caring for baby, but just for the day.
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“I just don’t want to be around my kid,” Ms. Stock, 31, said with a laugh. “Mother’s Day is about spoiling mom, and mom needs a break.”
In general, moms tend to do the lion’s share of kid care, from breastfeeding babies to carpooling Girl Scouts and serving as den mom, so it’s understandable that she wants some me time on Mother’s Day, some say. Besides, what hard-working mom doesn’t deserve a little rest and relaxation?
“Motherhood is hard, and it’s a 24/7 job,” said Jackie Vannuyen, a Toledo area gynecologist, wife, and mother of two. “I love my kids and I love my family, but we all get tired. I just want time to myself. A day off from all the cooking, cleaning, transporting, shopping. A day off from all the responsibilities.”
So Dads, before you set up a reservation at a pricey restaurant, order flowers, or head to the jewelry store, check in with mom to find out if that’s what she really wants. Maybe she’d prefer time sleep in Mother’s Day morning, or to go shopping without the kids in tow. You might be surprised at what she really wants.
If you do opt for one of the old standbys, at least dress it up. Try cutting the flowers from a garden, and take time to personalize the card. Better yet, make her one. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to also let her know how much she’s appreciated for all she does.
Contact RoNeisha Mulle: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6133.